Gen-Z and Career Counselling

Gen-Z and Career Counselling

Author - Dr Aruna Balammal, Faculty Member, ICFAI Business School, Bangalore, IFHE

A cohort of individuals who were born roughly between 1995-2010, Gen Z has started shaping consumer and employee trends. Gen Z, otherwise referred to as digital natives, are comfortable accessing information by navigating the digital world. They are a generation that is very sensitive about social issues, and they engage in the world with a perspective. Gen Z prioritizes their mental health and accepts cultural diversity, different sexual orientations, and gender identities.

A generation’s identity is largely characterized by the events they are exposed to. For Gen Z, it is the climate anxiety, frequent conversations on sustainable development, the incidence of COVID-19 and its associated uncertainties they had encountered during the peak times of their education. That might be a reason for Gen Z to be a cohort of realism and adaptiveness.

A lot of research and discussions have been happening about Gen Z because they have entered the workforce. The first batch of Gen Z have started their career in the year 2016. Being a generation who has voluminous information with a click of a button, who are known to cross verify every advice and information they get from multiple sources, how are they arriving at a decision when it comes to their career choice?

With the advent of technologies, and the use of AI chatbots where human-like conversations is possible, Gen Z has plenty on their plate to make an informed career choice.

Millennials and generations before Millennials relied on the guidance they received largely from their contacts. More is the case of Indians, where they trusted the guidance of their parents and significant others.

Compared to Gen Z, previous cohorts with their limited information sources, mainly focused on careers that had guaranteed monetary benefits and which has a sense of security. That resulted in the overemphasis of professional courses such as Engineering, Medicine, and Management related subjects.


These days, the spectrum of career options has been widened. At present, the challenge faced by Gen Z is to arrive at an option that makes sense to them. Chat GPT and other online information can provide a lot of information and alternatives. If the career path is chosen considering only rational and logical alternatives, it is not really a point of discussion. But do we choose a career purely based on rationality?

Also, what is the level of certainty we can bring in for such rational choices? Therefore, it is very crucial to look into the inner call of each person while arriving at a career choice as it helps a person to thrive at all adversities and uncertainties at work. They need to experience joy as well as meaningfulness at work. For a cohort that values social activism and impact, choosing a personally meaningful career becomes very important. Choosing a career cannot be viewed as the sole function of money in the case of Gen Z. Money can be one of the many factors. This is where the role of a career counsellor comes into the picture.

A personalized guidance can assist a student in choosing a career that aligns the viability and passion of the student. A career counsellor can guide a student in understanding themselves, their goals and their natural inclination towards work. It typically starts with a psychometric assessment followed by showing possible career options that match with their natural inclination of work.

For example, A Career guidance and counselling framework developed by BodhBridge Educational Services Private Limited has adopted a three-pronged approach; matching career choice, academic strengths, and personality strengths/ interests.

The career counsellor helps the student to match these three pillars while choosing their career by addressing the challenges faced by students and parents such as financial restrictions and lack of awareness. The framework uses the vocational personality assessment,

My Choice, My Future Career (MCMF), developed by the researchers and professor at IIT Madras, owned by BodhBridge Educational Services Private Limited helps a student to understand their personality which is very specific to their career interests.

Although there are many tests available online, it is extremely crucial for students to choose a test which is psychometrically valid. MCMF is a reliable, psychometrically valid and Indianized vocational personality assessment. The test has already been administered to one lakh students and the results are reported to be overwhelmingly supportive.

Similar to Holland’s personality assessment, this is a tool for students to understand themselves in the context of the workspace but is very well suited to the Indian context. The test is available in languages of English, Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi and Bengali.

The content is worded in such a way that it is relatable to anybody who is familiar with Indian culture. At the end of the test, the detailed report provided to the student gives a very detailed view of their natural preferences and possible career options suiting their personality. The test also gives information on what is to be improved upon so that it gives the freedom and room for the student to choose a particular career of their choice due to certain circumstances.


A career counsellor can give clarity for the student who is overwhelmed with large amounts of information. The personalized career guidance is the key feature of career counselling. Especially, when a student is perplexed with a large number of options, or when he/she is unaware of their own interests, or when they are unaware of possible opportunities, a career counsellor can do wonders to bring in immense clarity in students’ decision-making process. In a nutshell, career counsellor help a student to make an informed decision.

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